MOUNT HAGEN, PAPUA NEW GUINEA – The new Mount Hagen International Airport in Western Highlands Province has opened, marking the latest milestone in the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-supported Civil Aviation Development Investment Program (CADIP), which is strengthening the safety, accessibility, and reliability of air services in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, other senior government officials, representatives from ADB, and other development partners joined the people of Mount Hagen to celebrate the inauguration of the upgraded airport (also known as Kagamuga Airport).

“Mount Hagen Airport is one of the government’s many priority infrastructure investments which ADB supports in PNG, and it will boost inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth,” said Marcelo Minc, Country Director of ADB’s PNG Resident Mission at the launch ceremony. “The new airport is a model for all airports in Papua New Guinea.”

The design of the main terminal building was inspired by a local artifact, the Mount Hagen axe. The building’s exterior has an axe-like shape and is decorated in traditional patterns. The new airport also has energy efficient and eco-friendly features such as skylights to maximize use of natural light, and uses LED energy-saving lights throughout the main terminal. The terminal building has its own independent sewerage treatment system, which separates liquid and solid waste and converts the liquid waste into fertilizer. 

An undercover market area has also been built nearby where local vendors can sell their produce in closer proximity to the airport.

CADIP is improving 21 national airports to provide safer, more secure and all-weather air transport services. The program includes extending runways, strengthening pavements, building airport fencing and parking bays for aircraft, purchasing state-of-the art fire trucks, and upgrading navigation and air traffic management systems. The program is expected to be complete by 2018.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including co-financing of $9.2 billion. 

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